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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP)

Storage vs. Sharing

Storing your data is where you put the data during the phases of active research. Proper storage is essential to good data management, as you need to ensure you can find, access, and secure your data with ease. Examples of data storage locations are REDCap, PennBox, a School network drive, or a LabArchive notebook. 

Sharing your data is what you do at the completion of your project once all of your data is collected and prepared for sharing. You share your data in a repository that is appropriate to the domain, access restrictions, and NIH Institute, Center, or Office (ICO) requirements of your project. Examples of data repository locations are the Qualitative Data Repository, dbGaP, and Dryad

Storage Options at Penn

When working with sensitive data and information (human subjects data, data about individuals, protected sites, endangered species etc), consult with IRB and ISC or your local service provider to ensure data is adequately secure.


PennBox is a cloud-based collaboration service for securely managing and sharing files and folders within the Penn community and externally. Key features:

  • 1TB Storage (effective October 18, 2022)
  • End-to-end data encryption
  • Document sharing and collaboration with Penn users and external colleagues
  • Built-in discussion forum, commenting, and task tracking and version control tools
  • Accessible from a variety of operating systems, browsers, and handheld devices
  • Single sign-on using PennKey

Get more information about PennBox from ISC

PennO365 - OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud-based storage and collaboration solution. This is only available at participating Schools and Centers, which at the time of writing does not include PSOM. You can access OneDrive through your PennO365 account. Key features:

  • 1 TB of storage
  • Ease of collaboration across the entire campus community
  • Sync to your local file directories
  • Document editing available over the web

Get more information about PennO365 and OneDrive from ISC


Penn's agreement with LabArchives offers researchers free access to a modern, secure, cloud-based method of organizing their lab data. It also offers Penn instructors a robust collaboration & instruction platform. Key features:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Data is always stored within the United States and does not travel outside of US borders
  • Collaborate with researchers across and outside Penn
  • Manage access levels for research partners
  • Share data publicly with a DOI
  • Certain types of data, including HIPAA protected information should not be stored on the Penn instance of LabArchives

Get more information about LabArchives and data considerations for using this service from the OVPR

Network Drives

You have a network drive associated with your school, department, or center. Talk to your local service provider about features of your network and how to access the network virtually.


Some Schools have accounts with Dropbox for storage. Talk to your local service provider about details.

Google Drive

Some Schools have accounts with Google Drive for storage. Google Drive is a very popular cloud-based storage and collaboration solution. Note that Google Drive and other Google products are not appropriate for storing sensitive information (human subjects data, information about individuals, protected sites, etc.)

Other Storage Options at Penn

If these storage solutions are insufficient for your research data needs, talk to ISC, your local service provider, or the Research Data Engineer for more information.

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